Sergio Perez has announced that he is set to leave the Racing Point at the end of the 2020 season in a shocking announcement. The news was confirmed by the Mexican driver on his twitter account. This move is likely to open doors for the four-time World champion Sebastian Vettel to join the team set to be renamed Aston Martin in 2021.
Perez had recently signed a three year deal with the team last year. There have been rumors of Racing Point replacing Perez with Vettel for the past few months. However, Perez always dismissed those rumors and was believed to have a watertight contract until 2022.
There has been no word by the team on Perez or his replacement at the moment. However, it is highly believed that the replacement Driver would be Vettel who is set to leave Ferrari at the end of the season. Vettel, who has previously stated that he only had loose talks with the team over its future project, is keen to stay in F1.
Perez joined the team in 2014 after only one season at Mclaren. In his seven years at the team, he has scored five podiums for the team. Perez played a key in saving the team from financial oblivion in 2018, taking legal action which put the team into administration and allowed it to be purchased by a consortium. The consortium was led by Lawrence Stroll whose son Lance is Perez’s current teammate.
In a statement, Perez explained his decision to leave the team and expressed his regret in leaving given his loyalty to the team in difficult times.
“Everything in life always has a beginning and an end, and after seven years together, my time with the team will come to an end after the season,” said Perez. “It hurts a bit as I bet on the team during very rough times. We managed to overcome obstacles and I am very proud of saving the jobs of several of my team-mates.”
“I’ll keep the memories of the great moments lived together, the friendships, and the satisfaction of always giving my all. I will always be grateful for the opportunity given to me by Vijay Mallya, who believed in me in 2014 and allowed me to continue my F1 career with Force India.”
“To the current administration, led by Lawrence Stroll, I wish nothing but the best in the future, especially with the upcoming Aston Martin project.”
Perez had previously stated that he was not talking to any other teams for a seat next season. In his statement, he confirmed that he currently has no alternative in place.
“I don’t have a plan B,” Perez added. “My intention is to continue racing here, but that would depend on finding a project that motivates me to continue giving my 100% on each lap.
“I hope I can give you some good news real soon, but for now, let’s enjoy together the next races.”
Perez has very few seats to chose from the 2021 season. Hass and Alfa Romero are the most likely destination as both the team are yet to announce their line-up for the next season.
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